2019 was ‘most successful year’ for discoveries; Guyana added big volumes – IEA

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Oil and gas exploration spending has been on a consistent downward trend in recent years, with only a slight bump in 2019. With investment budgets under renewed pressure this year, the share of exploration spending in total investment may hit historic lows, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.

Nevertheless, the IEA said 2019 was a moderately successful year for conventional discoveries. “The countries that added the most to their conventional resources were Iran, Russia, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago, and there were also significant discoveries in China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Norway and South Africa.”

The IEA said this made 2019 the most successful year for oil and gas discoveries since 2015. The trend in discoveries is towards natural gas, and 2019 was another significant year with large finds in Russia, Mauritania, Iran and Cyprus.

In Guyana, US oil major ExxonMobil made five more discoveries in 2019 at the prolific Stabroek Block while Tullow Oil’s Jethro and Joe exploration wells established the presence of a working petroleum system to the west of Stabroek.

Rystad Energy estimates that the 2019 discoveries in Guyana hold cumulative recoverable resources of more than 1.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

To date, ExxonMobil has made 16 discoveries offshore Guyana, amounting to more than 8 billion boe.

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